Orphans caught in the middle of U.S.-Russia power play

Russian lawmakers have voted unanimously to ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

Shea, now 7, was adopted in Russia and brought to the U.S. when he was a baby. A ban on Americans adopting Russian babies was passed unanimously by Russian lawmakers today.

Shea, now 7, was adopted in Russia and brought to the U.S. when he was a baby. A ban on Americans adopting Russian babies was passed unanimously by Russian lawmakers today. (12/26/12)

BELLMORE - A political power play between the U.S. and Russia has pitted the two nations against each other, and experts say orphan children are caught up in the middle.

Lawmakers in Russian parliament voted unanimously today to ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The president of Russia says the move is a legitimate response to a U.S. law calling for sanctions against Russians who are found to be human rights violators.

Aaron Britvan, an adoption attorney from Long Island who is an adoptive parent himself, says the Russian ban is nothing more than politically motivated retaliation. However, he says adoption is too profitable in Russia for the ban to actually be enacted.

Britvan says the ban would be unfair to children who could be blocked from having access to better lives here in the U.S. Adoptions that are nearly finalized would be frozen, Russian lawmakers say.

The bill now goes to President Vladimir Putin for his signature.

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